By Aaron Cantú / Alternet
This week, the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that its subsidiary won a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection to produce and install surveillance systems along the U.S.-Mexico border. The company is famous for providing “intrusion detection systems” and other infastructure support for the Israeli West Bank barrier.
The subsidiary was awarded a $145 million contract for a project called the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT), which is to be built on the Mexico-Arizona border over the next year. The contract also guarantees eight years of infrastructure support from Elbit Systems.
The project outlines the construction of an undisclosed number of observation towers at the border by Nogales, Arizona, a town about an hour south of Tuscon. Additional towers could be built at five other areas along the state’s border.
Elbit Systems, founded in 1967, is the largest supplier of military technology, unmanned combat air vehicles (aka drones), and surveillance infrastructure to the Israeli military. Its attack drones, which the company’s website boasts are “the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces UAS [unmanned aerial system] force,” have been used in lethal attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
If the House passes the immigration bill currently sitting in Congress, the terms of the Elbit-CBP contract could expand to a $1 billion deal.
According to Homeland Security News Wire, Elbit also recommended that the Department of Homeland Security “adopt a more complete border security system, which combines radar and electro-optical sensors, unattended ground sensors, unmanned air systems, and manned or unmanned ground vehicles to enhance agents’ flexibility and responsiveness.”
I reconnected with an acquaintance from high school (class of ’80) a couple years ago via Facebook. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors, his father had to change his last name to seem “less Jewish” just to get a job, and himself over the years has had to deal with anti semitism in some form or another. So what has he been up to in the last 30 something years? Well at one point he moved to Israel and did a stint in the Army because in his mind Palestinians (young men, the elderly, the disabled, the abled, children, etc ) don’t even deserve human status. Being oppressed too often does not have anything to do with whether or not one will be an oppressor.
bob dorn says
So much for promoting American business. War on Mexico can be contracted out to Israel.
According to the Washington Post, using various sources on military spending, we spend spend more ($711 Billion) than the 13 next most militarized countries combined; China’s number two, Russia, number three. About 20 percent of our total budget is spent on war and preparing for it. Israel’s war preparations percentage (they spend $77 billion) is about the same as ours.
And let’s not kid ourselves, the Department of Homeland Security is a military agency; it just happens to aim its guns at people who don’t have any.